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Recipe Review: Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese from The Vegan Table

Posted Oct 29 2009 12:00am
You may remember a few weeks back when I filled out the MoFo survey and said that the three things I wanted to make were my mom's chocolate chip cookies made vegan ( check! ), homemade seitan ( check! ), and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese from "The Vegan Table." I realized that with only two days left for Vegan Mofo, tonight's the night!

There was definitely a little shopping involved for a couple of semi-obscure ingredients, as well as a meeeee-ssy kitchen to clean up afterwards. But it ended up being WORTH. IT.

Colleen ends the recipe by simply combining the cashew cheese with the macaroni but makes a few additional suggestions, one of which is baking the dish. I was planning on baking it anyway, but who can't resist tasting a forkful of macaroni and cheese when you have a giagantic pot of it in front of you? The first taste was...pungent. I almost didn't like it. So I took another forkful. Like, but not love. It was one of those things where you wanted to like it so you keep tasting it but it's just yet. I was a bit disappointed but decided to continue with my plan, only I made one addition: broccoli. I chopped up a few cups of broccoli and stirred it in to the mac and cheese, poured it into a casserole dish, topped it with breadcrumbs and baked it through.

GREAT IDEA!!! The broccoli took that little bite out of the cashew cheese and the breadcrumbs blended in perfectly with the rest of the dish. It was just so, so, so good. So good that I had to put it to the ultimate test. Omnivore-Dad-Reaction?
"I made vegan mac and cheese!"
"Who cares?"
"What?! Try it!"
"Ok fine." Bite. Starts walking away. Stops. Does a double take. "Wow!"

I used cavatappi noodles instead of elbow macaroni just because that's what I had on hand. I also had some trouble browning the breadcrumbs at 325 degrees, so I turned on the broiler for a couple of minutes and it worked like a charm. Other than that, the instructions are simple and easy to follow! I definitely recommend this recipe for a hearty, comforting, yummy, filling meal that serves your whole hungry family with leftovers for lunch!

And I have to say, "The Vegan Table" is already one of my favorite cookbooks. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or eat meat at every meal, this is a fantastic book to help incorporate super fun, super healthy foods into your and your family's diets. Colleen also discusses the benefits of a plant-based diet and answers all of your questions about nutrients and playing with brand new cuisines! It's a beautiful, beautiful book. .

I've been making this super often because it's one of my favorite things to cook, especially for other people! I've found that doubling the garlic powder and reducing the miso to just a tablespoon or two really kicks up the flavor and knocks out that pungent-ness that I was talking about before. Bon appetit!

I've started baking this without the breadcrumbs on top, they were making the dish a little too dry. The baking really thickens the cheese and makes it super creamy!
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